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Thread: Possible Tooth Problem

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    Possible Tooth Problem

    My piggie Alfie, who just turned 3, hasn't been eating his pellets normally. They end up in his bowl in a pile of mush, as if he chewed them up and spit them out. I checked his front teeth and they look fine, but I can't see the back ones so I'm not sure if they're overgrown. The reason I've hesitated taking him to the vet, (which I can't afford unless necessary at this time), is that he is eating everything else just fine. I wanted to see how he would do with a thick baby carrot and he ate it with no problem. Veggies, hay, he doesn't seem to have an issue. If his teeth were overgrown would he be able to chew everything else? Or could he just not like his food anymore?

    I should also add, it sounds like he grinds his teeth and sometimes it sounds like he's chewing on something.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    My original boar, Pooper, would take a drink of water and spit it into the food bowl. Then he would eat the mush. He would regularly waste half a bowl of pellets doing this, And he never had a problem eating anything else. If nothing else, just monitor him and especially try to watch while he's eating his pellets. That may give you some insight into what's really going on.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    My original boar, Pooper, would take a drink of water and spit it into the food bowl. Then he would eat the mush. He would regularly waste half a bowl of pellets doing this, And he never had a problem eating anything else. If nothing else, just monitor him and especially try to watch while he's eating his pellets. That may give you some insight into what's really going on.
    It does actually happen on the side closest to his bottle, and he usually goes for his food after taking a drink. I thought about it but wasn't totally sure. I'm going to start watching him closer when he eats them. Thank you :)

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Precisely what Pooper did. The water bottle was right next to the food bowl. He was lazy enough lol to the point that he would lie down next to the bowl, stick his back leg out, and stretch his neck up for a drink then turn to the right and put his face in the food bowl. He didn't even have to move! My other boar Sly, even though he has a heavy ceramic bowl, will drag it over to the pigloo and then drag it in there with him so he can "eat in".

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    Precisely what Pooper did. The water bottle was right next to the food bowl. He was lazy enough lol to the point that he would lie down next to the bowl, stick his back leg out, and stretch his neck up for a drink then turn to the right and put his face in the food bowl. He didn't even have to move! My other boar Sly, even though he has a heavy ceramic bowl, will drag it over to the pigloo and then drag it in there with him so he can "eat in".
    Alfie pushes his pigloo over to the bowl so he can pop his head out to have some food then go back to sleep. I'm watching him eat right now and it all looks good.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by xautumntbh View Post
    I should also add, it sounds like he grinds his teeth and sometimes it sounds like he's chewing on something.
    That's quite normal......my cavies all do the grinding of teeth. Even though they don't have cheek pouches like chipmunks, they seem to store food in a similar way to munch when they feel like doing so. It sounds like they are grinding/gnashing their teeth, but sounds entirely different than the teeth gnashing that they do when angry or threatened.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    i just watched him eat first before getting a drink and there was no mush in the bowl. I guess he really does spit water in it. Thank you guys for replying :)

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Makes me happy knowing everything is ok! Cheers Alfie!

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    It isn't letting me edit the thread but I have another question. He has been having stinky, uneven colored poo and I'm taking him to the vet tomorrow to get checked. The issue is the only vet around me that takes guinea pigs doesn't seem to know much about them, as she misdiagnosed my old piggie with allergies 3 times, who later died from what was actually a URI. I have a list saved on my phone of medications that aren't good for pigs, so I was wondering if someone could make me a list or send me one of intestinal/digestive issues that it could be, and medications that work best to treat it. I've been looking stuff up all day and haven't found anything specific to whats going on. I just want to make sure she doesn't misdiagnose him, too. I have no other options of care.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    What has he been eating? Has there been any changes to what he has been eating recently?

    Is his behaviour otherwise normal?

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by grace&piggies View Post
    What has he been eating? Has there been any changes to what he has been eating recently?

    Is his behaviour otherwise normal?
    food is hartz but I just learned that Alfalfa is bad for older piggies so I've ordered Sweet Meadow Timothy pellets. Veggies and fruit varies between carrots, romaine and green leaf lettuce, cucumber, bell beeper, celery, cherry tomatoes, apple and orange. Fruits I think I need to cut back on, I wasn't giving him a crazy amount but I think it's more than what he should be having. I'd often bring him leafs of romaine, like 3-5 but I'm going to switch to green leaf. I'd been giving him a lot of carrots too, again just another thing I didn't think there was really "too much" of because of what I read. But now I'm seeing different answers. Could any of it be why it's happening, and if so would cutting back help? I had him out today on a clean blanket and he pooed a lot, but I couldn't smell anything. His behavior seems the same. Earlier in the day he seemed like he was sad or feeling ill and he wasn't eating or drinking really, but when I took him out to run around he perked up and when he was back in his cage he was drinking and eating like normal.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Hay is critical. Fresh good quality hay should make up majority of his diet and it's important they have access 24/7 to keep healthy and happy. If he's been missing out on this key level of fibre in his diet, that may be why his output has been odd.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by grace&piggies View Post
    Hay is critical. Fresh good quality hay should make up majority of his diet and it's important they have access 24/7 to keep healthy and happy. If he's been missing out on this key level of fibre in his diet, that may be why his output has been odd.
    Oh he has unlimited hay. He doesn't seem to enjoy it as much as my other pig did but he has plenty.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Could switching to Oxbow help since it's better quality? I never realized there was a difference in brands. The kind I have now is much more brown and hard.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Assuming from Kaytee you are in the US? I'm hoping someone else from there can weigh in on good options for you.

    Where I live I have bought hay for years from feed supply or farm supply places where they typically sell by the bale. It means I get to see all the hay they have and pick out what I like and it's usually really cost effective. Never more than $15AUD for a bale. If any forum users are in Aus and are looking for a cost effective way to get hay, check out your local CRT or Mitre10 equivilent, tell your council that your green bin went missing and store the bale in that bin undercover (garage, etc).

    More recently Pet Stock has had hay available in smaller quantities of good quality meadow hay or oaten hay. I prefer that because when you buy by the bale you can't see what the hay in like on the inside. I always have fresh yummy stuff for the pigs buying smaller. In Aus, these bags are equivalent to Oxbow 1.13kg bags however the Oxbow is at least $45 per bag and the Pet Stock bag is $9... Although I'm sure the Oxbow stuff is nice, there is nice stuff available for a fifth of the cost if you know where to look.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    My boys get Oxbow Cavy Cuisine timothy hay pellets and Oxbow Timothy Hay. There are a couple of other brands like KMS and Kleenmama's that others swear by, but they aren't available in Canada so Oxbow is the best that I can get. The Hartz food is terrible for guinea pigs, anything that's colored in it is likely not good for them and can also present a choking hazard. I feed them a small salad twice a day (usually just after lunch and around 9 pm. Using fruit as an occasional treat is ok, but not on a regular basis. Grace&piggies is right, unlimited good quality hay is essential and is an absolute must.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    I think your problem is that you're feeding way too many veggies. It can cause unevenly colored, soft poop. Pigs can also quickly come to prefer veggies over hay, and that can cause major, expensive tooth problems.

    You pig should be getting only a cup or so of veggies per day. Five leaves of lettuce per day is about three too many. Carrots are too high in sugar to be fed in any large quantities, and should limited to one small chunk a day.

    I think if you cut back on his veggies, you'll see an increase in hay consumption.

    Oxbow has good hay. So do Small Pet Select, American Pet Diner, and KMS Hayloft. If you can't find a local farmer with good grass hay, your next best option is ordering online. Forty to fifty pound boxes are expensive, but cost about 1/3 to 1/2 as much as hay from a pet store if you calculate the cost per pound. It's also MUCH better hay, and your pig will appreciate it.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Thank you everyone for replying. I'm going to get Oxbow and see how he likes it. We just got back from the vet and she told me to increase veggies and give him benefiber because he has a lot of not fully formed and hard poo as well. I don't trust her though, and I feel like benefiber might not be safe. What could be the reason for rotating between soft and hard poops? I have one more vet I'm going to try if the change in food and hay doesn't help.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    I definitely would NOT be going back to that vet. The fiber in Benefiber is not the kind of fiber that guinea pigs need to keep their digestive tracts moving.

    Where are you? City/state, not your actual address. Someone may be able to recommend a good vet.

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    Re: Possible Tooth Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    I definitely would NOT be going back to that vet. The fiber in Benefiber is not the kind of fiber that guinea pigs need to keep their digestive tracts moving.

    Where are you? City/state, not your actual address. Someone may be able to recommend a good vet.
    Gloversville, NY. I think the last place in my area is Glove Cities, but I heard they're expensive and don't handle the animals well.

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